Regular blood testing is an important way to keep track of your overall well-being. Getting tested at routine intervals can allow you to see how your body is changing over time and empower you to make informed decisions about your health.

Here are five blood tests you should consider getting every year.

Complete Thyroid Panel

Most physicians, including endocrinologists, will only check one or two thyroid markers: TSH and/or total T4. These tests do not give you a complete picture of your thyroid function. At HMG, there are 6 additional thyroid-related values that we routinely check for our patients: Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, anti TPO Ab, and anti Thyroglobluin Ab. If any of these blood test values are not optimal, we take the steps to prevent or treat thyroid dysfunction or disease.

Essential Nutrients

Nutrients such as iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and magnesium are important for optimal bodily function, but they’re rarely checked at a routine primary care visit. Many people are deficient in these nutrients, so it’s imperative they are checked and supplements suggested when levels are not optimal.

Complete Metabolic Panel and Complete Blood Count

Unlike the other tests we run, the comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) and the complete blood count (CBC) are ordered when you see your primary care physician. These tests are essential to understanding electrolyte and hydration status, kidney function, liver function, and blood cell values. These values can also tell us if someone is fighting an acute or chronic infection.

Metabolic Markers

Metabolic markers such as Hemoglobin A1c, fasting glucose and insulin, and a lipid panel are essential to understanding how a person is processing macronutrients. Most primary care visits include a yearly basic lipid panel and glucose level – rarely will you receive a Hemoglobin A1c. These tests help determine whether there is an increased risk of heart disease from cholesterol levels or not. Many times people are told that they have high cholesterol levels when they are not actually a risk.

Inflammatory Markers

Inflammatory markers like hsCRP and homocysteine are rarely checked at a routine primary care visit. hsCRP is an inflammatory marker which can indicate general inflammatory status. An elevation can tell us there is inflammation happening in the body that should be addressed, whether it be from physical trauma, emotional stress, oxidative stress, environmental toxicity, allergy, sedentary lifestyle, or food sensitivities. Homocysteine is an amino acid that requires methylated-vitamin B12 and folate to be cleared. Elevations in this level can help us understand your stroke and heart disease risk, B vitamin status, ability to methylate, ability to detox, and make neurotransmitters.

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